Illinois Roads Are More Dangerous After Gov Quinn Okays Faster Semi Truck Speeds at 65 MPH and More


Illinois Roads Are More Dangerous After Gov Quinn Okays Faster Semi Truck Speeds at 65 MPH and More

On July 27, 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law new legislation that his office describes will “… simplify regulation of trucks traveling in Illinois, easing the regulatory burden faced by Illinois businesses while helping ensure the safety of Illinois’ roads.”

From the Governor’s official press release:

“One of the top priorities of my administration has been working with the business community to make Illinois an easier place to do business. By clarifying laws that impact transportation, we will help businesses to function more efficiently and still keep the public safe while traveling on Illinois roads.” Governor Quinn said. “This law creates common sense rules, eliminates confusing language, and enhances productivity in the trucking industry and benefits the environment.”

In this economy, focusing upon the dollars and cents of things is understandable, and it seems reasonable to pass Senate Bill 1644 as it “… clarifies and standardizes enforcement language for truck weight and size in the Illinois vehicle code.”

What Governor Quinn Has Signed Into Law Makes for More Danger On Illinois Roads

However, as the Governor points out, this new law also ups the allowable maximum truck weight in Illinois to 80,400 lbs because it will mean less diesel fuel usage in the long run.  Saves money.

However, one thing doesn’t change.  The heavier the truck, the more dangerous it is on the roads.

Of even more concern, Governor Quinn has signed into law Senate Bill 1913 which will mean that starting on January 1, 2012, trucks in Illinois will be able to drive 65 mphs on our roads.

Increasing Speed Limit on Big Rigs May Save Fuel But Will It Cost Lives?

This bill joins other legislation that works to increase the legal speed limit of big rigs to 65 mph on Illinois roads (this week’s bill doesn’t impact interstates, however prior legislation already covered that issue). For many, increasing the speed of big rigs is dangerous for us all.

Think of this:

  • semi trucks carrying a full load of cargo, up to the legal limit of 80,400 pounds, will be driving alongside sedans that weigh around 5000 pounds.
  • It will probably be around 80 feet long, lumbering alongside families in minivans, sedans, and SUVs at 65 mph.
  • And if that truck needs to stop?  It will take it almost twice as long as the car alongside it to do so.

Be careful out there, if you’re driving anywhere in Illinois – especially after the first of the year.

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